The recently aired Fyre Festival documentary just revealed that the fear of missing out (FOMO) is real but what can millennials learn from it?
We are in an age where Festivals are ‘the’ events to go to and social media makes everything larger than life. Many are after exclusivity and luxury and anything less than that won’t cut it. Organizers are banking on creating something for a select few giving them a chance to party with celebrities which is everything to some people who idolize these celebs.
That was the idea of Fyre festival, the luxury of yachts and eating sushi, the exclusivity of being on a private island in the Bahamas previously owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar, and a chance to rub shoulders with supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. However, in the midst of making Fyre Festival the biggest festival, the world has ever seen, the main organizer and entrepreneur Billy McFarland got in way over his head and started to promise things that weren’t feasible.
Netflix aired the ‘Fyre: The greatest party that never happened’ last week and the world had a glimpse of what really happened before and after the Fyre festival. The documentary was able to paint a picture of why the festival flopped, through the testimonies former employees of Fyre Media and footage from behind the scenes.
With that said, the documentary shed light on all the warning signs that festival goers should have heeded.
Here are 4 lessons festival goers should learn from the Fyre Festival documentary :
Lesson 1: Check the credibility of the organizers
The brains behind Fyre Festival was Billy and Ja Rule. Neither of these individuals had prior experience in organizing a festival nor did they have good reputations. Billy’s previous venture Magnises which was founded in 2013 had just flopped and he had literally conned some young unassuming millennials off their money with the promise of exclusive parties and VIP access to events. Rapper Ja Rule, on the other hand, had been incarcerated for tax evasion and gun charges in 2012. This dynamic duo should not have been trusted to run an event let alone organize a lux festival.
Lesson 2: Make sure you aren’t left in the dark about details
According to the documentary, all Billy sold was the idea of the festival, a very good idea but the details were sketchy. The lack of venue, unclear flight information, and accommodation details as well as scanty progress updates were all warning signs that the event was poorly planned. Although attendees began raising alarm over the poor communication and organization of the event it was already too late. As a festival goer, please make sure that you have all the details about ticketing, transport, accommodation, food, and everything else well beforehand. These factors could make or break your experience, so information is vital.
Lesson 3: Pay attention to what is being said
As much as social media has become a crazy savage place where people try to sabotage each other at every turn, put your ears on the ground and really listen what is being said then try and validate the claims. They say ‘where there is smoke there is fire’. According to the documentary, there was a lot of warning signs that attendees ignored. The social media page “Fyre Fraud” tried to caution festival goers and there was the website which even put up photos of the unfinished campsite several weeks before the festival. Unfortunately, most attendees did not have the right information, leaving them unprepared for what awaited them at Fyre. If there is anything to learn is just LISTEN!
Lesson 4: What exactly are you paying for
Another red flag from the Fyre Festival documentary was the growing list of miscellaneous costs. Festival-goers were constantly asked to add money for one ‘exclusive’ add on after another like a party with Kendall Jenner on a yacht, or access to a private brunch. Though it sounds nice, attendees may not have necessarily understood what exactly they were paying for. In Billy’s case, the list of exclusive events was a scam to foot the ever-increasing expenses of organizing the festival. Every festival goer should be inquisitive. Do not be quick to send money for services you may not understand unless you are getting your money’s worth.
The happenings of Fyre Festival are not new, but we can at least mitigate or protect ourselves as festival goers from scammers like Billy or other bad breeds of organizers by learning from the lessons above.